Let's Connect

The Inbound Sales blog covers all areas of lead generation and management. With indepth insight into Web 2.0, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation, CRM Systems and Sales 2.0 techniques.

Subscribe via E-mail

Your email:

Posts by category

From Click to Closed - Inbound Sales and Marketing Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

How to Create Awareness


How to Create Awareness

The best way to create awareness for you company or marketing strategy is to ask yourself a simple question: “what bad things happen to business results for buyers with a particular title (CEO, VP, and so on) in a particular vertical (health care, financial services and so on) or geographic (e.g., North America or Europe) market because they are not offering what you are?”  Much how top sales people develop their value proposition, marketing needs to understand this as well.  The answers will enable you to create a message crafted in such a way to kill two birds with one stone.  It can both generate awareness and increase urgency to act by illustrating the financial impact if the potential buyer does nothing.

Human nature is such that people place a higher value on potential loss than on gains (for more on this check out our recent post How to Shorten Your Revenue Cycle).  For that reason, it is better to create awareness and start you potential prospects with problems rather than with goals.  By being as specific as possible to a target role in a specific industry or region, you will resonate with prospects much better and start to gain mind share.  Once you have been successful with taking your prospect from latent need (i.e. something that they did not previously realize that they should be focusing on) to active need (already has the attention/desire to solve the issue) you start to hone in on their buying path that will either end in one of two results:

  • The buyer takes action and buys from a vendor
  • The buyer realizes that addressing the issue is too complicated, too expensive, no longer a priority, and so on, and therefore does not buy (or postpones it).


It’s about Gaining Mind Share

At any given time, 3% of your marketplace is in active buying mode, another 7%  who would be interested if the right offer came along, and the remaining 90% are just not interested at this time (to learn more check out our blog post “What about the other 97% of buyers?”). For companies that sell disruptive offerings, you may find that the people actively looking near 0%.  For disruptive offerings, the challenge is to make people aware that the offerings exist and have them recognize potential problems that can be addressed by using those offerings.

When promoting disruptive offerings (such as a 100% integrated sales and marketing lead generation service), you introduce the product to potential buyers: they may be intrigued and act, but they have not previously allocated budget for it or set up a decision committee because they didn’t know that an item/service was even available.  Budget, therefore, must be made available, and to make the sales happen, you must have access to a C level executive who can approve a large investment -  often by relocating money by canceling previously funded projects.  This is a disruptive sale.

For a continuous improvement or replacement offerings (such as  an online scheduling program that increases employee engagement), the goal is to have buyers realize the advantages of the new version over older offerings.
Whether an offering is disruptive or continuous improvement, targeting people at high levels offers three significant advantages.  First, at executive levels, the number of issues that the buyers face decreases in number, but increases in importance.  Second, targeting high levels means buyers can find budget for expenditures for which they had not planned..  Finally, generating interest at higher levels generally means shorter sales cycles.


The Process Has Changed

Years ago, marketing would use some form of broad-reach advertising to create awareness, using either print ads, billboards, TV, radio, sponsorships, or some combination thereof.  The internet has changed this process drastically. 

Here are some examples:

Old Method

New Term

Direct Mail




Trade Shows

Virtual Trade Shows

Print Ads

Banner Ads

In-Person Networking Events

Social Networking

Business Response Cards

Landing Pages

TV Commercials

YouTube Videos

Radio Ads



However, one problem is that many marketers are still using the same tactics just with a different tool.  By conveying the same-old message with new vehicles, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig.  Faced with over 2000 marketing interruptions per day, buyers start tuning out long ago.  Four countless TV and radio channels, publications, podcasts, blogs, ads, direct mail, e-mail, conferences, and events prospective buyers see them and make a snap decision to either discard the message or, on rare occasion, allow it to enter their active stream of thought.  It’s marketing’s job to develop messages that enable buyers to connect with their offerings and allow it to gain their mind share.


Alignment is Key to Awareness

To do an effective job at creating awareness for your product or service, you need to take a step back and spend some time to address each of your offerings:

  • What titles within an organization would be involved in making the buying decision?
  • For each title, what business issues that can be addressed by your offering are to the success of that individual?
  • How can you focus your business development efforts on these issues?
  • What media are most effective in reaching your targeted titles?

Your company’s message is a journey rather than a destination.  As market conditions change, new business issues will arise, and others may become less relevant or even drop off the map.  The combination of relevant messaging and avoiding the use of new technologies (such as social media) to emulate negative promotional stereotypes should go a long way toward making your business development efforts more productive.  It begins with focusing on the issues that your buyers are facing and then giving them a glimpse of how they can solve their problems and how they can use your offerings to help them improve their own business results.

Latest Posts

Most Popular Posts